The Patek Philippe Seal

The new standard of quality for mechanical watches: the Patek Philippe Seal

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Published by 571 on July 11th, 2009 at 04:57 p.m..
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A new era begins for Patek Philippe in the spring of 2009: All of the manufacture’s mechanical movements will henceforth be embossed with the exclusive Patek Philippe Seal. This is the evolution of a philosophy of quality and independence that the workshops in Geneva have been systematically pursuing since the company was founded in 1839. The new label clearly expresses the very essence and distinctiveness of Patek Philippe: a level of perfection that far transcends what external statutes and official standards prescribe. After all, true passion can only come from within.

The Patek Philippe Seal: a logical step forward

For more than a century, the criteria of the Geneva Seal were observed in the development and completion of Patek Philippe’s mechanical movements, defining the minimum quality levels to be attained. But true to its tradition of ongoing innovation, the manufacture never stopped its quest for continuous improvements in regards to the performance of its timepieces.

Patek Philippe is a “complete” manufacture that not only sustains a unique level of vertical integration in movements but also produces its watch cases and other key exterior elements in-house. Thus, the quality specifications at Patek Philippe relate not merely to the movements but to the entire finished watch.

It is undisputed that a hallmark of quality must apply to the whole watch. This fact called for a new seal that defines all competencies and features of relevance to the manufacture, precision, and lifelong maintenance of a Patek Philippe timepiece.

The Patek Philippe Seal: a mark of excellence that applies to the entire watch

The Patek Philippe Seal announced by the Geneva workshops is the watch industry’s most exclusive and stringent hallmark of quality. The rules apply to all of the manufacture’s movements regardless of their complexity.

It not only applies to the movements: it encompasses cases, dials, hands, pushers, spring bars for straps, etc., as well as the aesthetic and functional aspects of the finished watches.

Moreover, given the fact that a Patek Philippe watch is first and foremost an instrument that measures time, the Patek Philippe Seal makes a binding statement regarding rate accuracy.

The stability of the rate of Patek Philippe timepieces is checked in several phases during the manufacturing process, initially with uncased movements, later with finished watches. The final rate accuracy measurement of the cased watch is performed with kinetic simulators and must comply with the following in-house precision standards:

* for calibers with diameters of 20 mm or more, the rate accuracy must lie within the range of -3 and +2 seconds per 24 hours.
* for calibers with diameters of less than 20 mm, the rate accuracy must lie within the range of -5 and +4 seconds per 24 hours.

Patek Philippe watches with tourbillon are subject to the same in-process inspections as all other mechancial timepieces, but they must comply with tighter tolerances as follows:

* Their rate accuracy as measured during the final inspection with kinetic simulators must lie within the range of -2 and +1 seconds per 24 hours.
* The greatest deviation between the average rate of the watch in all six measuring positions and the rate in each position must not exceed 4 seconds per 24 hours.

The rate accuracy of each Patek Philippe watch with a tourbillon is documented with an individually issued certificate delivered with the watch.

Another important aspect: In compliance with the in-house accuracy criteria, the final rate tests at Patek Philippe are performed with fully assembled watches as opposed to conventional tests with uncased movements.

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